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Aviation's economic impact in Pennsylvania
November 9, 2011
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  • By: Janice Wood
    November 7, 2011

    An economic impact study commissioned by PennDOT reveals that Pennsylvania’s aviation industry is creating jobs and significant revenue that reinforces the impact of airports on local economies.

    “This study proves that investments we’re making in aviation in Pennsylvania are paying dividends for Pennsylvanians,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. “Airport access stimulates businesses, supports 5% of the state’s workforce and provides transportation options.”

    The study found that Pennsylvania’s public-use airports support approximately 304,462 jobs, generate $9.2 million in annual payroll, and produce $23.6 billion in annual economic activity. Approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania businesses were surveyed to measure the importance of certain factors when planning relocation or expansion. A sizable majority – 78% – said having a commercial service airport nearby is an important factor in choosing a business location, while 54% said having a general aviation airport is important.

    “When you consider that people, cargo, mail and many other goods pass through airports, it’s no surprise that businesses say that airport access is essential to their bottom line,” Schoch said.
    The study was funded by a federal grant to PennDOT. As part of the project, a database was also developed so the department can update each airport’s information annually to track economic benefits.

    PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation manages programs supporting aviation operation and development in the state through grant funding, inspections, technical guidance and more. The bureau administered $11.5 million in state funding for ongoing projects in the fiscal year ending June 30. Pennsylvania has 15 airports with commercial service and 118 general aviation airports and heliports.

    To view the Economic Impact Summary Report or the Technical Report listing the impact of each of the state’s airports, go to, click on “Aviation & Rail Freight” and then the “Bureau of Aviation.” For more information: 717-783-8800

    Date: 2011-11-07